How Has D.C. Done It?

12 Nov
Richmond area visitors enjoying the buffered bike lane down the center of Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. during a informational visit organized by Bike Walk RVA last spring.

Richmond area visitors enjoying the buffered bike lane down the center of Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. during a informational visit organized by Bike Walk RVA last spring.

The Richmond chapter of the Partnership for Smarter Growth is holding its annual River City Saunter this Thursday, 11/14.  This is not a bicycling-specific event, but therein lies a crucial point: promoting bicycling as transportation is (or should be) one part of a broader array of efforts around revitalization and transportation.*  Click here for details and free registration.

The program will include a walking tour of downtown sections of Broad and Grace Streets, followed by a keynote address by Harriet Tregoning, Director of the Washington, D.C., Office of Planning.  Here is PSG’s overview and the event agenda:

Tregoning … will inspire and inform Greater RVA with stories of the transformation of the National Capital Region.  Today, D.C. and its core suburbs are booming with an influx of young professionals and downsizing empty-nesters attracted to vibrant, walking and bicycling-friendly, transit-oriented communities.  This transformation didn’t happen by accident, but is the result of the leadership of local elected officials and planners like Harriet Tregoning, the advocacy of PSG’s counterpart in D.C. (the Coalition for Smarter Growth), the investment and commitment of private sector developers, and strong community involvement.

Harriet Tregoning will connect the dots, showing the linkages between transportation, land use, urban design, and multi-sector partnerships that are necessary to create a great city and a great region.  This is not an event to be missed!

*      *      *      *      *      *      *      * 

Forum Agenda

4:50 PM          Check in for walking tour of revitalization along East Grace and Broad Streets beginning at 5 PM
6:00 PM          Registration and networking reception (light appetizers, cash bar)
6:30 PM          Welcome and PSG Highlights
6:40 PM          Keynote Presentation by Harriet Tregoning
7:20 PM          Question & Answers with our Panel
7:50 PM          Call to action – A Greater Greater Richmond Region
8:30 PM          Continue reception until 8:30 PM

*That’s an important thing to keep in mind and communicate, by the way, about projects like the Floyd Avenue bike boulevard.  It’s easy to get caught up in the details of a specific project and its impact on immediate residents.  Both are important, but it’s also crucial to keep the big picture in mind: a project like this is not just “for the bicyclists” but is one piece of a larger puzzle, or really several puzzles: its one piece of an emerging network of bikeways; and, combined with many other things, will make Richmond a better place to live for everyone.


3 Responses to “How Has D.C. Done It?”

  1. Kirk December 2, 2013 at 11:16 PM #

    I’m not sure on DC. It’s worth considering the Euro experience, however. There’s been a real push for so-called “separated” cycletracks here, which worries me greatly, as they have been found to actually increase accident and injury rates amoung cyclists by about 9-10%. These are stats from Copenhagen and Agerholm, comparing the same streets before and after cycletracks were put in, and accounting for increases in ridership. Given the law and enforcement situation in those cities, which we lack here, this is extremely troublesome (I believe our increase would be a lot greater, as we allow motorists to do things they cannot in places such as Holland). There are links to Euro studies here:
    Merely mentioning stuff like this in front of some Richmond bike “advocates” tends to send them into a tizzy, so sold are they on separation. In short, I think we should push for more bike boulevards and no separated lanes at all, out of concern for cyclist safety. If you want to advocate for an illusion of safety, separated lanes are where it is at.
    There is a Canadian study claiming to show cycletracks improve matters, but they compare different streets and use a flawed methodology, before someone brings it up.

  2. Kirk November 20, 2013 at 8:21 PM #

    I’m sorry, but we would be wise not to follow DC’s example. Many of the lanes there are very poorly designed– inadequate sight lines, door zone bike lanes, confusing intersection design. Of course, bring this up, and you’ll be called anti-bike. The most promising suggestion I’ve seen is the Floyd bike boulevard, and I’d love to see it implemented, but much of what I’ve seen in DC looks flat out bad.

    • bikeablerichmond November 21, 2013 at 4:09 AM #

      I’m completely with you on the Floyd Ave bike boulevard.

      I also agree on the DC bike lane in the video (too close to the cars), although the construction and cars blocking it are not entirely an issue of design. Learning from DC doesn’t have to mean repeating their mistakes. Any sense of how their crash stats look?

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